Pope Francis on Wednesday thanked women for their commitment to “a more humane society’’ at a general audience held on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day.
The head of the Catholic Church praised women’s “ability to grasp reality with a creative eye and a tender heart, “calling this a privilege of women.’’
Pronouncing a special blessing on women, Pope Francis also called on the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square to “applaud women”.’
In the preface of a study on women in leadership positions, which will be presented on Friday, the 86-year-old pontiff appealed for more equal opportunities for women and men in every context.
This is the only way to achieve a stable and lasting “equality in diversity”, and if women enjoyed full equality of opportunity, they could contribute to a world of peace, he wrote: “The dream of peace becomes a reality when we look to women.’’
As the official news portal Vatican News reported, the number of female Vatican employees increased during Francis’ time as pope.
Women now make up a quarter of the staff, according to the report.
Still, the ordination to the priesthood for women is out of the question for Francis and the path for women to ordained top offices remains closed. (dpa/NAN)